Posts Tagged ‘trains’

National Railway Museum

Saturday, October 27th, 2018 | Life

Here’s a possibly controversial opinion. The Nation Railway Museum: not that good? I mean, it’s pretty good, and it’s free, but it’s not as amazing as I imagined it would be.

In fairness, the nature of my visit didn’t help the matter. I went there to meet Elina and Venla after the Yorkshire Marathon and so headed straight to the Great Hall where they were located. In some ways, this is the centrepiece of the museum. But in other ways, it is the most boring.

They have a bunch of trains. But you can’t go in them. I mean, they’re trains. They’re designed to have people in them. It’s not like they’re the Mona Lisa: they were built for people to go inside.

Or, at very least, allow us to look in them. Bus most didn’t even had steps up so you could take a peak, and even when they did, they only slowed you the ends of the trains, rather than a proper walkway. Without them, it’s just not that good because trains are really tall.

I thought the station hall was a lot better. This is set up like a train station so you can see into each of the carriages and you can go into several of them, too. The postal train was really interesting.

More importantly, Venla had a good day. If you gave her a giant hall where she could run around in, she would have a briliant time with that alone. Being able to scream “choo choo train” every minute for several hours was just an added bonus.


Thursday, June 20th, 2013 | Photos

Actual places featured in the television series Heartbeat and a steam railway – what more could you ask for? Indeed, personally I would ask for less, given a steam railway is in itself enough, especially when you’ve never even seen Heartbeat.

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London trains

Saturday, December 1st, 2012 | Life, Thoughts

It was always going to be an interesting train to London as we went down to attend GRAM. It was a 7:30am train and by 8:30am, the speaker had announced that they had sold out of all beers and ciders!

Who is drinking at that time in the morning? A quick bit of research told me that Leeds were playing away at Millwall today. Leeds and Millwall have a long time rivalry with whose fans can be the biggest hooligans, so it turns out they were going to stop serving all alcohol on trains from 10am anyway.

Not fancying returning in the middle of a large crowd of angry football fans, and given it was only a mere £15 extra (of which I did not expense, of course), we decided to upgrade to first class.

Overall, I’m not sure it’s worth the upgrade cost. The seat is very nice and big, and the complementary food is good, but being on a weekend, isn’t hot, nor is alcohol included. It was also very quiet though, and you do get unlimited wifi included, so maybe it wasn’t too bad.


Saturday, December 4th, 2010 | Humanism, Travel

Last weekend, we hit Edinburgh as part of Weekend Away 2010. It’s been several years since I’ve been to the city so it was great to see it once again and despite the snowy weather, our train was only delayed half an hour each way, which while arguably appalling in many places is a relative victory in Britain.

On the Friday evening we joined the Edinburgh University Humanist Society to watch the Blair Hitchens debate live. It was most entertaining, despite Tony Blair not bringing any arguments to the table though it was shocking to see how withered Christopher Hitchens now looks.

Saturday saw us take a look round Edinburgh Castle which was free entry (win), followed by some shopping and then heading our for a few drinks in the evening. We started the evening with dinner at Biblos which delivered probably the best steak I’ve had from a non-steak dedicated restaurant and then headed to Frankenstein but Angry Tom was all angry about the music so we ended up at a rock bar which while failing to live up to it’s early promise of Taking Back Sunday, delivered relatively good music.

Sunday saw us take in the National Gallery of Scotland and the National Museum of Scotland, both of which were great but as the museum was closing early because of the weather conditions (apparently they’re not prepared for snow in Scotland) we only got an hour in there. Finally we went round the Christmas Market before heading home.


Saturday, November 13th, 2010 | Distractions, Life, Reviews

With Norm having a spare ticket to the Gorillaz gig at MEN last night, I decided to take him up on the offer and head over. The train journey over there was a nightmare – pretty much every train in or out of Leeds was running late and so we started off fifteen minutes late only to find we could only crawl to Pudsey.

So an hour into this journey we hadn’t even made it out of Leeds yet with the official reason for the problems being a combination of a gearbox problem and “the track being wet.” So we spent another twenty minutes or so waiting for the Blackpool train which was only a few minutes behind us apparently so turn up so it could push us into Bradford at which point they gave up on our train and cancelled it.

Once we had found another train the journey finally got going and I ended up reaching Manchester about quarter past nine – over three hours after having set off but just in time for the set – Gorillaz had just taken to the stage and were onto their third song by the time I got to my seat.

Some, who regularly go to bland and unpopular bands who can’t fill a large audience, would wonder whether they were looking at musicians or ants at stadium gigs but luckily we had no such problems – the seats themselves were really good – it was as far forward as you can get (I was in seat 3) on the left side, about half way up the lower tier.

There were a huge number of people involved in the performance. The regular act consisted of Damon Albarn, three guitarists, two drummers, four vocalists, a five piece string orchestra and two or three other people meaning just as standard there were nearly 20 people on stage, plus on top of that they had a brass band and another orchestra that did some sets and maybe 8-10 guest vocalists as well resulting in there being probably 40 people on stage at various points throughout the gig!

Despite not being that familiar with a lot of Gorillaz’ music I really enjoyed the gig, well worth the wait.


Saturday, April 10th, 2010 | Humanism, Life

On Wednesday myself and Gijsbert headed down to London on CWF business. Actually we almost didn’t – when I phoned Gijsbert at 17:40, an hour before the train was due to leave, he answered the phone with the question “so, what time do we leave tomorrow?” :D.

Luckily he made it in time though and we were on our way. As well as some productive meetings we managed to get round the Imperial War Museum in the morning, which was cool although I didn’t think it was as fantastic as most people had talked it up to be.

I have to say I really like the taxi system in London also. It may be rather expensive (though what isn’t in London) but just the fact that there are so many of them driving around that you can flag down and you just can’t beat a chatty London cabbie.

London town

Friday, July 17th, 2009 | Events, Life

Headed down to London for the AHS meeting on Thursday.

The station car park was full which resulted in me parking literally a mile away. Still cost me £3 as well because the parking ticket machine ate half of my money. I scribbed on the ticket though “I have this machine £3!” and didn’t get a ticket despite it expiring so one way or another I got an almost fair amount of parking (I should have only paid £2 really). Interestingly, if you phone the help number on the parking machine, you get a modem on the other end.

Got the train down fine and found my way to 1 Gower Street which was very irritating as I came from King’s Cross so I started at something like 137 Gower Street. That is one of the very annoying things about London – just because you’ve found the right road doesn’t mean you’re anywhere near where you want to be!

The BHA offices were nice enough, they were very much old converted houses with many small floors over about four different levels. We finished up there and headed round to the College Arms for a pint which again was small but nice enough.

Myself and Andrew were both getting the train back from King’s Cross so we headed off not long after though unfortunately by this point it had started raining. Having already got a coat I offered my umbrella to Andrew who hadn’t brought anything. This turned out to be somewhat of a mistake as the heavens properly opened and it began pelting it down, I was not impressed by the time we finally reached the station. Especially because earlier I had thought to myself “should I switch to my walking boots in case it rains?” and decided against it in the end.

It was also rather irritating how many people were on the train back to Leeds at 9:30 at night though it gradually thinned out as we headed northwards from an almost full carriage to an almost empty one.

It wasn’t the most pleasant journey back, I hadn’t brought a jumper because I was trying to travel light and I thought I could just put my coat on if I was cold but it having been soaked right through that wasn’t really an option so it was rather cold, especially with me not being overly dry. I did manage to get a discounted hot chocolate from the snack cart though which was most welcome.

By the time we reached Leeds I was ready to give up for the night (though I still had to drive to Halifax and back, but that is a whole different story – coming soon) so I gave in and jumped in a taxi back to my car. Well worth not freezing to death on the talk back to my car and more importantly, my beautifully warm Wikipedia hoodie.